Francis Lam was challenged to explain why he talks about food. In response, he wrote a terrific personal essay exploring his own challenges and the avenues the world of food provides him.
…talking to people about food is a great way to establish that you belong. Because food is often so personal, so much about memory and family and what you were raised with and what matters to you, it’s a pointed way to get to know people that’s also broad enough to let strangers into conversation easily. For all those same reasons, it’s a powerful way to talk about culture—not from up in the academic tower, but in details that matter on the ground, in peoples’ lives.